BARRE — The Vermont Agency of Education today recognized the state’s 2018 Presidential Scholar nominees in a ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse. Six students from Franklin County were recognized.

The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes graduating high school seniors who show outstanding scholarship, leadership and service to their communities. Twenty (10 male and 10 female) scholars are nominated in the general category, and five scholars are nominated in the Career and Technical Education category (CTE).

All Vermont scholars will be invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which will announce its winners in May 2018. Additional Vermont students may be chosen to apply by the U.S. Department of Education based on ACT and SAT scores. Each year, up to 161 students are named as national presidential scholars — one of the highest honors for high school students.

“I am so proud to have these students representing Vermont as U.S. presidential scholar nominees,” Secretary Holcombe said. “Their exceptional academics and skills, as well as their personal leadership and service, are what set them apart.”

Career and Technical Education presidential scholars (local):

• Joseph Willis, Engineering Technology Program, Northwest Technical Center

General presidential scholars (local):

• Olivia Leavstrom, Richford High School

• Shannon Mahoney, Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax

• Jared Paquette, Richford High School

• Kyla Perry, Enosburg Falls High School

• Jared Sparr, Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the president, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.